Get these lures wet when bass fishing this fall.
As the days grow shorter and the water temperature drops, the behavior of bass begins to change. Fish will binge heavily on available prey, readying themselves for those lean winter months. Take advantage of the conditions, and those bass will be plentiful and more than eager to bite.
Fall is a magical time to be on the water fishing. And if you're a bass angler in search of a true trophy fish, this time of year is your best chance to reach that goal.
Once October rolls around, especially in northern lakes, bass will begin to vacate the shallow water, migrating to deeper depths to set up shop. This off-shore structure can take the shape of still-healthy weed beds, rocky shoals and deep timber, or humps and points. The first drop-off in the main lake is always a good starting point for big bass.
But what bass fishing lures you choose to toss at them in early fall will be paramount to getting bites. Here's my top four fall fishing recommendations.
Honorable mentions include spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits and topwater baits, particularly buzzbaits.
1. Flipping Jig
If I could only choose one bait to throw in the fall, it would have to be a flipping jig. Consisting of a weighted head, a rubber skirt, and a soft-plastic trailer, a flipping jig expertly mimics a crawfish or minnow skipping along the bottom. Bass slurp these things up.
Pitch flipping jigs to deep weed clumps, across and on top of points and humps, and at any deep docks or cribs you might come across. Upsize the head weight to get them down deep and pair them up with heavy braid and a stout flipping stick.
There's no wrong way to fish a flipping jig. Let the bass dictate the action they want and make adjustments accordingly.
When it come to color schemes, I like to match the hatch. You can't go wrong with black and blue, brown and orange, or pumpkinseed.
2. Lipless Crankbait
The lipless crankbait is the ideal fall bass search bait. It mimics the appearance of a shad as it zips through the water column, provoking hard-hitting strikes from hungry fish.
The lipless crankbait will allow you to cover this cold water efficiently, locating those schooling bass that are a common occurrence come fall. Work these baits over deep-water weed clumps, alongside drop-offs, and over points and rock shoals.
A standard straight retrieve with the occasional jerk seems to work best for fall bass. Generally sinking a foot per second, let these baits flutter down to target those hungry fall bass.
I reach for lipless crankbaits in shad, bluegill, silver, and baby bass color schemes come fall.
3. Deep-Diving Crankbait
What better way to fool a fall bass than by giving them something real-looking to bite down on? Fish won't be foraging in the shallows now, so targeting those deeper water haunts with a crankbait that can get down in depth will be advantageous.
This is my favorite bait to toss over top of offshore humps and across deep points. A deep-diving crankbait can also work wonders at the mouths of creek channels where baitfish will often stage.
The Berkley Dredger 25.5 was a hit on the Ontario and Quebec waters I fished last fall. They get down deep quickly and trigger fall bass to bite like crazy.
Choose similar colors to the lipless crankbait above, relying on natural hues to trick the most fish.
4. Plastic Worm
A plastic worm catches bass all year long, but they really shine when the water temperature drops. But not any old worm will work. You need to toss a big one.
Fall bass are feeding, so it makes sense to offer them something to fill their bellies. Turn to 10- and 12-inch soft-plastic worms this fall. Rig them up Texas-style with a weight to match the water depth and conditions you face.
Another proven fall tactic, especially when working points or humps, is to rig these jumbo worms Carolina-style and work them with finesse.
Be sure to add your favorite scent to the bait and work these soft plastic worms slowly. Inch them along the bottom and wait for that rod to bend.
Choose dark colors like black and blue when working plastic worms.
Enjoy some fall bass fishing this season. Just be prepared for big fish and even bigger numbers!
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